If we're saying that content is "king", social media might as well be the "queen". We can safely claim that social media is the most efficient way to spread the content around the web, in our time.
In this post, we're going to cover how and why we should include a "Share This" section with our content.
"Share This" for Instant (And Free) Content Promotion
In the golden era of social media, it would be silly not to encourage people to share your content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+.
Yes, we live in a social world and it's not just something we do among our friends. I wrote this quick tip in Turkey, my editor published it in Australia and while a German reader gave it a five-star rating, an Iranian reader shared this quick tip on Twitter and a Korean friend of his retweeted his tweet. Just ten years ago, this wasn't possible at all.
Think of this example and think about your own blog. It doesn't have to be an international magnificance but you can reach a serious amount of people with the power of social media. With WordPress, it's ridiculously easy to go viral - as long as you create quality content and allow your visitors to share that quality.
Plugins to Offer a "Share This" Section
As you can imagine, creating a "Share This" section manually is relatively easy. You could just get the "widget codes" of the social networks you like and replace the URLs with
<?php the_permalink(); ?> and
<?php the_title(); ?> inside the widget code, if necessary.
Then it's all HTML:
<div class="share-this"> <div class="twitter"><!-- The widget code --></div> <div class="facebook"><!-- The widget code --></div> <div class="google-plus"><!-- The widget code --></div> </div>
But there's an even easier way to create this section: with plugins. These plugins will most probably suffice for your blog and will fit your theme like a glove:
- Jetpack by WordPress.com - WordPress' own "feature pack" comes with a variety of little plugins, including a sharing section which provides an elegant bar at the bottom of your posts, right after the post content. If you're already using Jetpack (like me), this is probably the best solution for you.
- Digg Digg - Digg Digg might be considered as a "more comprehensive solution" for sharing, in comparison to Jetpack's share buttons. It allows you to put the buttons before or after the content, or even as a floating bar along with the content. It also lets you choose big or small buttons to fit better with your design. If you like to take control with many, many options, this plugin is right for you.
- Share Buttons by AddThis - It looks like yet another plugin that gives you share buttons. However, along with a membership on AddThis.com, this plugin shows you in-depth analytics of how your content is shared. If you're interested in your content's sharing statistics, this is the plugin you should use.
There are, of course, many more share plugins out there and you may find some of them even better than the big guys above. My personal choice is Jetpack, but that's because I use many other features of the plugin along with the share buttons.
I recommend experiencing as many choices as possible (including the one with just HTML) and decide which one is the best based on your findings.
As I said before, we're communicating in a social web now. If you want people to reach you, you have to provide share buttons for your content, "the king".
Do you think there are better plugins (or non-plugin solutions) about social sharing sections worth mentioning? Post your comments below - it's always important for you to share your thoughts with us!